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Unformatted text preview: s considered inappropriately absolute language regarding civil and political rights, such as freedom of speech and, especially, freedom to criticize the government. Article 19, for instance, says that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." China's tight control of its citizens' access to the Internet, for example, would be a violation of human rights under this article. HUMAN RIGHTS ARE PROMULGATED BY SUPERPOWERS AND ENFORCED ON OTHERS Blair Gibb, former planning officer at Amnesty International's London headquarters, 2004. HUMAN RIGHTS: OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS, p. 31. While the industrialized democracies consider the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a legitimate and timeless statement of "universal" values, much of the developing world views the agreement as a more limited product of negotiation and compromise among superpowers, not necessarily applicable to their own communities. Within this difference of opinion lies the seed of one of the major challenges of the future: enforcement of these rights in a genuinely multicultural context. In my experience, Europeans, without pretending to be moral exemplars but with their own memories of twentieth-century horror still alive, are more sensitive than Americans, with their notorious short memories and resulting ability to forget their own past complicities (e.g., installing and supporting repressive regimes abroad, or the extermination of indigenous Native American peoples). Whatever de jure standards develop in the human-rights area, it is de facto standards that matter in the crunch. Whether or not the international community~ or segments of it, can develop genuine methods to enforce humanrights values and protect real lives will be the defining issue for the next century. SLHS Value File HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS OVERRIDE DOMESTIC LAW, JUSTI...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13